Distal Radius Fracture in Singapore
If you feel extreme pain in your wrist, especially on the thumb side of your wrist, you may be experiencing a wrist fracture. However, when you see a doctor to confirm, they may refer to it as a distal radius fracture instead.
A distal radius fracture in Singapore is the most common type of wrist fracture, especially among the many types of bone fractures. To understand this fracture, you need to know what it is and the treatments available.
What is Distal Radius Fracture?
To understand what a distal radius fracture is, you will need to understand your forearm’s bone structure. There are two bones: the radius and the ulna. The radius is the biggest bone among these two, connecting your elbow to the thumb side of your wrist. So a distal radius fracture is when the radius breaks near the wrist area.
There are three types of distal radius fractures to note:
The most common wrist fracture is the Colles’ fracture. A direct impact on the palm often causes this fracture, which could happen when you use your hands to break a fall. The radius is wholly fractured, causing a visible deformity around the wrist, especially when moving the radius bone slightly upward. However, the wrist joint remains undamaged.
A Smith’s fracture happens when you’ve fallen backwards and bent your wrist upon impact, causing the end of the radius to be displaced. The fractured wrist would look like it’s angled away from the palm of your hand.
A Barton’s fracture is caused when you’ve fallen on the top of your bent wrist, causing a compression injury that extends well into the wrist joint. This may require an MRI scan as there’s possible damage to the ligaments of soft tissue around the wrist.
Causes of Distal Radius Fracture
A distal radius fracture in Singapore is most commonly caused by a fall, trauma, or a solid blow to the wrist. This could be due to a sports injury or even a vehicular accident.
However, a medical condition called osteoporosis increases the risk of distal radius fracture. The bones become weaker due to this medical disease, making them more fragile and prone to fractures, even from slight hits.
Even those with healthy bones might suffer a fracture if the impact force is high enough. However, keeping your bones healthy is a great strategy to prevent bone fractures.
Symptoms and Signs of Distal Radius Fracture
If you suffered a strong impact around the hands and wrist areas and your wrist feels painful and sore afterwards, along with some swelling and bruising, you may have a distal radius fracture. There may even be more visible signs, such as your wrist looking deformed or bent.
If the pain is severe and the wrist looks badly deformed, it’s best to head straight to the emergency room to get it checked. While those with lesser pain and less obvious signs of fractures may want to put off seeing a doctor, it’s still best to get it checked at least within the next day of the injury.
During the visit to the doctor’s, they will conduct x-rays to confirm how bad the fracture could be, from the severity of the fracture right to whether any other bones around the fracture could also be affected.
Recommended Treatment for Distal Radius Fracture
Depending on the severity of the distal radius fracture, the specialist or doctor could recommend nonsurgical or surgical treatment. This depends on the severity of the fracture, which joints are involved, and a potential nerve injury.
Nonsurgical Treatment for Distal Radius Fracture
The doctor would recommend nonsurgical treatment if the distal radius fracture only caused a slight misalignment. This will only require a cast until the wrist is fully healed.
If the misalignment is a little more severe, the doctor will re-align or “straighten” the fractured bone before putting it in a cast. This treatment is called a “reduction”. When a reduction is conducted without any cuts into the skin, it is called a “closed reduction”.
Once everything is aligned correctly, the doctor will have a splint placed on the wrist to keep it aligned during the healing process. This also allows the injury to swell safely without any restrictions. When the swelling goes down, the distal radius fracture will be stabilised in a waterproof cast to prevent further movement. The cast will then be removed once the bone has healed.
After the cast has been removed, it may be necessary to have physical therapy to restore your wrist’s full motion and function.
Surgical Treatment for Distal Radius Fracture
In some cases of distal radius fractures in Singapore, the misalignment between the fractures is so severe that it can only be corrected through surgery. This is called an “open reduction”, and an incision into the skin is conducted to align the fractures accordingly. This method often requires internal fixation tools to help hold the bone together, especially if there is extensive damage to the muscle and tissues around the fracture. These fixation tools include:
- Plates and screws — The most common tool for surgical treatment of distal radius fractures.
- Metal pins — Normally made of stainless steel or titanium, this is used frequently in children with growing bones.
Get Treated For Your Bone Fractures
At Spire Orthopaedic Centre, we believe everyone should be cared for and healed holistically in comfort without traveling to different locations to seek medical and surgical help and rehabilitation support.
With a combined facility for collaboration between physicians, physiotherapists, and surgeons, you will experience a seamless service from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation tailored just for you at our clinic.